My Christmas dinner(cook it today or for any weekend thereafter)

You need the following:
Ham:
One medium size ham for a family of four(larger one if more, I buy the shank portion, recommended by the butcher) or the spiral.
One can of sliced pineapples,(any brand will do); One cup of brown sugar; About 20 gloves.
Several toothpicks, to pin secure the pineapple on the Ham.
One large enough oven pan and wire rack.
2-medium potatoes for each serving, to make the Mash Potatoes
(2-3 cups of milk, 1/2 to 1 stick of butter)*these amounts depend on how many potatoes you will use.
One masher and a deep container, 1 tsp. of salt(for the water, you will boil the potatoes in).
1/2 tsp.(salt pepper each mixed for the mashed potatoes).
For a side dish:Peas and Artichoke hearts
One box of frozen Peas; One can Artichoke Hearts(drained) or frozen; One cup of good Olive Oil; One large Onion;
One bunch of fresh Dill(only use the tips, that you remove after washing); 1 tsp. or less salt and pepper each.
Appetizers(optional)
A couple of cheese chunks(different kind); About ten olives; A couple of shrimp(freshly cooked or from a can);
A couple of turnips(small red); 2 scallions cut bite size.
Arrange all these on a platter or large flat dish. They are good for your hungry guests until dinner.
For dessert make(another recipe) or buy an apple-pie.
How to get everything ready:
Ham:
Open the pineapple can, remove the pineapple, place it on a flat dish, place the juice in a small ball. Place the sugar in
it. Place the wire rack(like the ones you find in a broiler) in the pan, you will be baking the ham in. Place enough water
in the pan up-to the wire rack, then place the ham on top of it with the fattest sides facing up. Then remove some of the
fatty part of the ham, now score the rest, as deep as(about 1/2"), going across one way from right to left, then the other
way to create small rectangles. Start from the top of the leg going down to the end. You do that, so that the sugar/juice
mixture reaches the meat, when you drench the ham with it. Push the gloves inside each cut intersection, one at a time, I
think 20 gloves will be enough. You might need more with a larger ham.
Place the pineapple on the ham from one side to the other(secure the slices that are placed on with the toothpicks).
Drench the ham with the mixture, it should be a little thick(not watery, so it does not run into the pan). Cover the ham
and all its exposed surface with the juice. You must have enough juice left over, to baste the ham until it gets baked.
Now cover the ham with aluminum foil, then put it into the oven 350o, for 2.1/2 to 3 hours. While baking you must test it
to see how much more it needs to stay in the oven, you do that by inserting the fork into the meat, when it goes in easily,
the ham is cooked.
For the ham to stay moist, you must maintain the hight of the water in the pan. For the ham not to burn, you must
continually baste it with the sugar/juice mixture while the ham is in the oven.
When you think the ham is done remove the aluminum foil and let it brown for about ten to fifteen minutes, remove it from
the oven. Place it on a serving platter. If you wish to debone it before serving, stick your knife where the bone is and
try to detach it without destroying the surrounding meat, you do that, so the slices are easily cut. Now, remove the
pineapple, slice the ham, as thick as you want or as many slices you need to serve all your guests.
After the slicing, put the ham back together, place the pineapple back on the ham, the way it was and bring the platter on
the table. At serving time(give at least one slice of the pineapple to everyone along with the ham).
Mash Potatoes:
Way #1. wash the potatoes well and place in water with the one tsp. of salt and cook until your fork goes into the potatoes easily(do not under
or over cook). Drain the water and while the potatoes are hot, you peel them, cut them in chunks, place them in a deep ball and press them with
your masher until the mixture is smooth without lumps.
Way #2. Peel the potatoes, wash and cut them in 2"x2" cubes. Place in the pan with water so it covers them along with the 1 tsp. of salt. Let
them cook until firm. Do not over cook because they will absorb too much water. Again, when they are cooked place in the ball and mash them
until smooth. Place the milk and the butter along with the salt/pepper mixture in a deep pan and heat until the butter is melted, do not boil.
Pour the milk mixture into the ball with the mash potatoes slowly, while stirring the mixture until the potatoes are smooth
(not dry, not watery). You might use all the milk mixture or have some left, it is ok.
Place the mash potatoes in a serving ball ready to serve as is, without any sauce on top(the ham, the peas/artichokes give you
enough taste, you do not need any sauce).
Peas and Artichokes:
Finely shop 1/2 of the onion, cut the other 1/2 chunks, then glaze both in a deep pan with the oil, when the onion is
done.
Place the peas, then the artichokes on top, also the dill, salt and pepper, along with a cup of water.
Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat, and let it cook for as long, until the water is absorbed. At the end you must watch
it, so it does not burn at the bottom. When it is done, serve it hot in a serving ball.
Serve the dinner with your
favorite salad.
Serve your apple-pie with coffee and some topping, of your choice.
And that is my Christmas dinner.
I hope you try everything and surprise your folks with your cooking abilities.
Have it happy, ellie.

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